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Poets academy gives $50,000 grants to local, state laureates

NEW YORK (AP) — State and local poets laureate from Alabama to Hawaii will each receive $50,000 grants from the Academy of American Poets, awards given for “positive contributions to their communities.”

The academy announced Tuesday that it will distribute $1.1 million to 22 laureates through its Poets Laureate Fellowship program. Since 2019, a total of $4.35 million has been given to 81 poets. The money is used for poetry programs, as submitted to the Academy of American Poets.

“Poets laureate at state and local levels promote the art of poetry and the position is an important way to recognize the place and possibilities that poets and poetry have in civic life, including in helping communities address issues of importance,” the academy’s statement reads in part.

Recipients include Emanuelee Outspoken Bean of Houston, Nebraska’s state laureate Matt Mason and Kealoha Wong of Hawaii. Other Laureate Fellows include Ashley M. Jones of Alabama, Lynne Thompson of Los Angeles and Gwen Nell Westerman of Minnesota.

On Tuesday, the Academy of American Poets also announced that it would give a total of $72,200 to eight local non-profit organizations that support the Fellows’ proposed projects.

The Poets Laureate Fellowship program was established in partnership with the Mellon Foundation.

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